The Unacceptable Lack of Acceptance That Mothers Aren’t Perfect

We should be worried mamas.

The pressure, the constant stress, the emotional and mental burden we carry with us ALL…THE…TIME, it’s taking a toll.

This wasn’t the post I planned to publish today. I was going to share with you some things I’ve learned over these past 8 weeks of blogging.

But I spent this past weekend reading several articles that expose just how real our situation is becoming.

First, this article from Oprah – The New Midlife Crisis – Why (and How) It’s Hitting Gen X Women

Then I ran across this article from Scary Mommy – This is What a Mom Really Means When She Says “I’m Tired”

Between just these two, it’s clear that the burden of motherhood is no longer able to hide behind our seemingly “I’ve got it all together” facades.

It’s becoming obvious…in every aspect of our life, we don’t have it all together. But we try. We really try, to make it seem like we do.

We spend our days posting pics of coffee cups on Instagram – like more coffee would help.

We laugh about not being able to get out the door in time or that the kids are in another fight.

We joke about our “happy pills”.Mothers are not perfect

What are we doing? Honestly, mamas WHAT…ARE…WE…DOING?

Pretending? Evading? Trying to get through our day by finding something, anything, to laugh about?

We might be fooling everyone around us, spouses included, but are we really fooling ourselves?

Deep down we know the real reason why we’re laughing about our “happy pills” – it’s not because we’re happy. It’s because, without them, we would crumble. And if we crumble, what will people think of us?

This is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that we feel like we have to live in silence. It’s unacceptable that we are too afraid of ridicule to ask for help. It’s unacceptable that we feel like we have to cloak our burdens with laughter. It’s unacceptable that there is an overall lack of acceptance for mothers who aren’t “perfect”.” And, with an entire mommy community out there in the world, it’s unacceptable that we feel utterly alone.

If I have to be scorned, ridiculed, or shamed for speaking out about this, so be it. I’m ready for it. That is, I guess, what makes me an “Odd Mom”.

I am a mother who doesn’t always enjoy being a mother. That doesn’t make me a bad mother. It doesn’t make me an unfit mother. It doesn’t make me a failure as a mother.

It makes me real. And raw. And honest. And willing to say things others won’t.

There are mothers out there who are literally breaking. They feel like they don’t have any help. They feel like there is no answer. No relief. Then the unthinkable happens. Tragedy.

The excruciating pain this mother must have felt tears at my heart. Why? Because I’ve been there. In my darkest moments, I have thought that I could not go on. That my husband and daughter would be so much better on their own. That I was doing more harm than good by continuing to try to be a mother. I was aiming for perfection and every time I did, I failed miserably.

It wasn’t until I came home from work one night and saw my daughter looking at me hesitantly, wondering which mommy had walked through the door – the loving, cuddly mom that she could turn to; or the angry, stressed, always annoyed and ready to go off mom that frightened her. In that one moment, I realized…I needed to 1) get help, and 2) say screw you to the idea of being perfect.

You know what happened when I finally gave myself permission to stop trying to be perfect?

I empathize with mothers I see around me. I stopped pretending that life is perfect. I have mercy and compassion for myself because, once I accepted that it’s okay to not love being a mother, I found freedom. The impossible expectations I placed on myself melted away. I could breathe again.

Do you feel like you are being suffocated? By life? By your children? By society’s expectations? By trying, as much as you possibly can, to be that “perfect” mother? I feel ya girl. I did too. And to be honest, I still do at times. It is incredibly hard to change a mindset that you’ve lived with most of your life.

But we have to try. We have to. Because no one else is going to try for us.

Please take care of yourselves mamas. Love each other. Cry with each other. Have a good rant with each other. But mostly let’s be there for each other. And when we’re there for each other, let’s be real. Because we deserve real – we earned real.

xo

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255, anytime.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Lauren | 18th Oct 17

    I am not a mother, nor am I surrounded by them because my closest friends don’t have kids yet. I do have friends with children and I’m amazed by them. I dont think I am capable of such hard work because right now just living my life and balancing what I have going on seems hard enough that I can’t imagine adding a child into the mix. Props to all moms out there. Moms are the backbone of the family!

  2. Theresa | 18th Oct 17

    This is a great post for ladies/mom out there who want to hear or read something good about trying to be the superwoman or wonderwoman to our family.
    Thanks gor sharing!

  3. Andrea | 17th Oct 17

    Great post! The more us moms shout this from the rooftops the less “odd” it will be!

    • Tiffany | 17th Oct 17

      Yes! It’s so exciting to see our voices getting out there and being heard! Hopefully, together we can make a change!

  4. tachira | 17th Oct 17

    Motherhood really is not all that rosy at times . Thanks for admitting that fact as people seem obsessed with showing perfection all the time. I love my daughter but sometimes she does things that drive me crazy . It is a part of the process. People need to stop being so judgemental as well. As long as the children are happy I say to heck with all the rest

    • Tiffany | 17th Oct 17

      I am right there with you…I’ve resorted to wearing ear plugs in the evening sometimes. (My daughter talks non-stop and most evenings I just want quiet!) And I agree with you…I’m sure there are so many things I could start doing or do better, but she’s happy and healthy and loved, so for now, I’m fine with what I can do in the here and now. 🙂

  5. Theresa | 17th Oct 17

    Great post! Good job on this article. You laid it all girl! We, women, as moms are not perfect but we always try our best… still noone can ever replace us. Kudos to all moms out there!

    • Tiffany | 17th Oct 17

      LOL…Thank you Theresa!

  6. Erica | 17th Oct 17

    yes, Yes, and YES! Mothers are not perfect, we are all sort of learning as we go. We should all be supporting each other not tearing each other down.

    • Tiffany | 17th Oct 17

      Right??? But we still hear about it happening all too much. Frustrating!

  7. Jess | 12th Oct 17

    Good job, mama! You are perfect just the way you are! Just because you don’t always like being a mom doesn’t mean you’ve stopped loving them. Keep on keepin’ on!

    • Tiffany | 12th Oct 17

      True that! Thanks Jess!

  8. Lacy | 11th Oct 17

    Oh I love this! Thank you for your honesty. You put into words the way I feel sometimes.

    • Tiffany | 11th Oct 17

      Hi Lacy! My pleasure and thank you for sharing! I’m so proud of all of us for showing a bit of our vulnerable side. 🙂

  9. Taylor | 11th Oct 17

    Hey Tiffany! I nominated you for the Bloggers Recognition Award! Here is the link for more info!
    https://simplelivingnursingmama.com/blogger-recognition-award/

    • Tiffany | 11th Oct 17

      Oh my goodness! Wow! Thank you! And congrats back to you! 🙂 Your site is beautiful!

  10. Dana | 11th Oct 17

    I can’t tell you how many times in a week I feel like I am failing my children because I can’t simply do everything that I had planned to do for my children. I can only do so much, thank you for this.

    • Tiffany | 11th Oct 17

      Hi Dana – You are not alone. And good for you for recognizing that you can only do so much – that’s hard enough to admit. xo

  11. Mamatha | 10th Oct 17

    So very true. I take a thousand guilt trips a day. I can never appreciate myself for anything lately. You have just spoke my heart out. Loved this post

    • Tiffany | 11th Oct 17

      I am right there with you. And if I try to let something go, I feel guilty for letting it go! Ugh…

  12. Cassie |White Sands and Cool Breezes | 10th Oct 17

    Thank you so much for writing this post. It’s so important for us mamas to remember what you’ve said. Letting go of that need to be perfect will help release so much stress!!

    • Tiffany | 10th Oct 17

      Hi Cassie – You are so welcome! I got all fired up after reading those other two articles. And I’m so tired of seeing us hurt, myself included! I hope we can all get to a place where we’re happy with who we are and what we’re able to do.

  13. Jamie | 10th Oct 17

    I just wrote something similar to this about my own feelings of overwhelm and failure and not fulfilling my perfectionist goals (I think society is creating a culture of OCD perfection driven people- thanks Pinterest). It’s funny because people always say to me “I don’t know how you do it” and I’m all over here like “do what?” Because I’m good at one thing, and that is feeling like I’m the only one who feels like this! Thanks for sharing. The more we share these things, the less alone we feel!!!

    • Tiffany | 10th Oct 17

      Hi Jamie! I never thought about the Pinterest connection, LOL! But you are so right…everything has to be “Pinterest-worthy”. And I’m the same as you, for every compliment, I’m thinking of all the things I’m NOT doing well. As women, I feel like we become masters at mentally beating ourselves up. We are not nice to ourselves. 🙁

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